Monday, April 21, 2008

HOME CURES FOR A COUGH

My middle son had pneumonia when he was four months old. This contributed to a weakened immune system his whole life. The minute he would get a little bit of a cold, it would go straight to his chest. After several years of constant trips to the doctor for bronchitis, at 4 years old I started treating the cold/cough at the first onset of symptoms. I would immediately boil water and make a "croup tent". I would let it cool down a little bit, then put it in a bowl, take a large bath towel and have them lean over the bowl with the towel over their head (holding it out like a tent), this holds in most of the steam. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT LET THEIR HANDS OR FACE GET TOO CLOSE TO THE BOWL! Have them take in deep breathes of steam. You will have to give them a break after a few minutes, then repeat the steps. They will immediately start to cough as they take in the deep breathes, just have them continue doing it, it will subside. The next step is to rub warm (not hot) Vicks on their chest and back. Make sure you rub it all the way down to where their lungs are on their back. Put a t-shirt on and put them to bed.

It can be a little tricky at first, but after doing it a few times, it becomes very simple and it seems to work better than a humidifier. Make sure that you do this procedure at the very FIRST signs of a cough.

This has saved me a lot of time and money. I still do this for all of my kids and stepkids, even now that they are teenagers, they don't like it, but they know it works! I hope this information is helpful and will save you trips to the doctor also.

60 comments:

Liz Davis said...

Very helpful, I'm not excited to try it but we'll have a plan for if and when...

Congratulations on your SITS day!

Busymama Kellie said...

Thanks for the great tip! I may need to use that one on myself, my cough has a tendency to get nasty and hang around for a while.

EmmaP said...

Amen!! I have used this on all three of my kids! it works!!! I remember being 14 and babysitting and the toddler coughing horribly. My mother came to the rescue and taught me this little diddy. One of the best kept secrets!!!

Kimmie0270 said...

Great Tip... Happy SITS Day!

EmBee said...

Good to know!
:-)

trashalou said...

Pshaw! Kids never appreciate teh stuff that is good for them!

How we met! said...

Sometimes the old fashioned remody's are quite so old fashioned and work pretty darn well!

Heather said...

My great-grandmother and one of my grandmothers were nurses, and whenever my sisters and I would get sick when we were little, the two of them would always give my mom advice and strategies like this. And you know what? Sometimes the good, old-fashioned remedies ARE the best - Vicks, Epsom Salts, Musterole... I now do a lot of them, including "steaming" my kiddo (as we call it in my house :) ) when she has congestion/cough symptoms. I'm also a big believer in Vicks. The only thing I don't do that Great Nana and Nana used to suggest to my mom is the Cod Liver Oil when that sort of a "cure" is required - *shudder* :D

Shanda said...

We've had to do this too...great information!

What A Card said...

Interesting! We have the same problem thanks to numerous bout of pneumonia.

Teryn said...

Great idea- What a cool family! I read your story on Oprah's site. Love does conquer all. I'm glad you got to be featured today.

jasonteryn.blogspot.com

dddiva said...

What a great tip, thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

Congrats on your SITS feature.

I have actually heard of this method, but thankfully we don't deal with much of that in our house. One thing I have heard also, but never tried is to put Vicks vapor rub under their feet, put socks over them and it will suppress the cough also. May be something to consider.

Enjoy all of your visitors today :D

Creative Junkie said...

I bet this helps out a lot of people who are spending small fortunes on medicine.

Mrs. S said...

My son's a year old and we do something similar.
When he gets a cough, we turn the shower on full hot and let it steam up (we have a very small bathroom). Then he and his daddy sit in there for 10-20 minutes. It's helped a lot to break up mucus-y stuff.
We also Vicks his back & chest/neck. I also put Vicks on his feet with socks - I'm not the only one I've recently found out!

Kelly Deneen said...

Great advice - thank you!

Happy SITS day. :)

Ronnica said...

Nothing feels as great as steam when you have a cough!

Simply Stork said...

this does work great...and I'm glad you mentioned that you should keep little hands clear of the hot water :o)

~simply~

G. said...

What a great tip! I'll be sure to remember this when winter comes!
Happy SITS to you!

~Trish~ said...

Excellent advice!!!

Melissa Lester said...

I am so thankful we haven't had to deal with this much with our four children. Where we live in Alabama, asthma is so bad for so many little ones. The pollen, I guess, makes people prone to it. I will keep your remedy in mind, though, when the coughing and congestion kicks back up this school year.

CanCan (MomMostTraveled) said...

This sounds like a good remedy. I'm all about the home remedies!

Debbie Y. said...

My family has alwasy sworn by Vicks. Each and every time I start feeling the least bit sickly, Irub myself down with the stuff. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but I have been able to ward off most bad problems and plus the "icky" smell is very comforting to me.

Happy SITS day.

Ali said...

Love it! My little girl #1 had RSV as a babe, and same thing, except she seems to have outgrown the pneumonia every year, thank goodness! One other little thing that helps with the coughing at night, is VICKS ON THEIR FEET (put on an old pair of socks - old as you'll never get the Vicks all out of the socks). My kids love it, and ask for it whenever they have a cough.

verygoodyear said...

Hmm, that is a pretty good tip :] My first baby isn't here until February, but my husband gets to be a guinea pig if he comes down with a cough!

Michelle said...

This, I could use. Little Miss has gotten pneumonia twice and also bronchitis. It's not fun, although she does really well with the nebulizer. I'll have to try this (although too late right now, as she's been home sick all week already!).

Shannon said...

Ah, croup...the gift that keeps on giving. My little one had this every month for about 1 1/2 years. The ten is a great idea, wish I had known about it way back when...congrats on your SITS day!

Sandy & Rick said...

It is funny the little tricks you learn when you are a Mom. I like this idea. I am sure there will be a day in the very near future that I will need to use it. :)

Peggy said...

Moms have the cures! Good advice.

cricketphx said...

Thanks! My little boy gets the worst coughs!

Felicia Eis said...

Hmmm... My husband gets really bad colds. He won't be thrilled to try this but hey if it works that is what we are going to do.

andrea said...

you bet it's not fun...I've done it on myself! But you're right, it does work to clear stuff out:)

Jenni said...

You sound like a great mom. But I have to say the image of the towel and the steaming bowl reminds me of Crocodile Dundee!

Be-Frazzled Mom said...

Great advice! Another good tip is to give a spoonful of honey instead of cough syrup. It coats and smooths a scratchy throat.

Mindy said...

Gret tip, thanks! I found that a crock pot full of hot water and drops of tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and peppermint oil worked very well for clearing up the colds in our house.

christie said...

Thanks so much for the tips! I'm going to try them next time my kids show any sign of a cough!

I was browsing your site and saw the beautiful photos of your family. My goodness! You are ALL gorgeous! Every. Single. One of you!

Tabitha Blue said...

Thanks for the tip. Sometimes it's the best things for us that are the hardest to do... but if it helps, it's always worth it!!

mrsbear said...

Thanks for the tips. My son's had a cough for a week now, I wonder if it's too late to try.

Vicki said...

I love homemade remedies, and I remember my mom rubbing Vicks all over me. I still like the smell.

I'll keep the tent idea and warm vicks at the ready this fall and winter!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the great tips. I am taking my 8 month old to the doctor again for a very bad sounding "smokers" cough that comes and goes.
I think he may be too young for this remedy though. I'll have to keep in mind for when he's older.

Becky :) said...

Thanks for the great tips. My 10 year old still gets croup once a year in the winter time. I hate it and so does he. I think this year we will try this method before I take him to the Dr.

Congrats on your SITS day!!!

The Treffeisens said...

Our son has asthma - I'm going to try this the next time we have an episode! Thanks for sharing.

Happy SITS day! Congrats on being featured

Hairline Fracture said...

Thanks for the tip. I hope we don't have to use it but just in case...!

-Bridget said...

Thanks for the tip! We have also just put them into the shower from the time they are only a few weeks old. It seems to work really well too.

WheresMyAngels said...

I don't know Lisa, I've always liked my Dad's cure. Boiled Dr. Pepper and lemon with Blackberry brandy added!! lol

Adrian said...

Good advice! Enjoy your SITS day.

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

Thanks for the good advice! :) I am glad it works with your son, and makes him feel better.

I hope you have a wonderful SITS day! :)

Tracy P. said...

I may have to try that on my "barky boy" this year. Thanks for the info!

Happy SITS Day!

Melodie said...

My girls rarely get coughs, but I'll have to try this next time one of them does.

Kelly said...

Hmmm...I'll have to try this one!!
Happy SITS Day; bask in your comment love!!

Juli Smith, SU! Demo said...

With Fall and winter approaching here in the midwest (IL), I will keep this tucked inside my mind - especially for my littlest one, who got a bad cold when he was just a few months old, and now still has a "wheeze" when he gets a bad cold.
www.stampinjewels.blogspot.com

mrsmouthy said...

We've been there, and it's definitely the best way to go. I do it when I get fluid in my lungs, too!

Rela Pantaleon-Manigsaca said...

no kids in my house but when I start having them, this is good to know! Good ol' home remedy!

Karen said...

I used to do that with my kids as well and still do it for myself. A hot steamy bathroom works, also.

Congrats on your SITS day :-)

Mamasphere said...

My mom did the exact same thing for us kids when we were young and started to get sick! I had totally forgotten about it. Good to keep in mind for when my daughter starts to show symptoms again. Thanks!

Sunshine said...

Thanks for the tips about the croup tent. My little one is prone to bad coughs. I loooove the Vicks and vaporizer, but I'm doing the tent now too.

Happy SITS Day! Wasn't if fun?!

Tinabean said...

Congrats on your Special Day!!!
This is a very good tip I'm totally using it next time.
Thanks for sharing.

The Engelhardt 4 said...

I LOVE this. We have bad allergies and they often turn into yucky colds. We will be doing this the next time it gets too bad. We start on some echinacea at the first sign of any kind of illness. Helps us get over it faster.

Rhea said...

That's awesome that you found what works. Time and money and worry saver!! Whew.

Mama's Losin' It said...

I couldn't imagine dealing with pneumonia in such a little guy!! This is a great idea!!